Thursday, January 26, 2017

Listen: it will all be okay.

It will all be okay.

I'm writing this on day six of the Trump presidency, and everything seems like it's going to hell.  The news is full of stories about executive orders to torture, anti-gay judges, mass resignations of senior staff, and flagrant falsehoods.  Many people are angry.  Some people are scared.  And a few people think that this is the end of America as a liberal democracy.

But listen: it will all be okay.  I'm going to tell you why.

Before I do, it's important that you know a few things: I'm a left-liberal/libertarian utilitarian cisgender white middle-class male. I'm a fucking absurd stereotype of privileged mansplaining over here. Sorry about that.

I'm also obsessed with politics and history and literature.  It didn't help very much in November: I was completely, swaggeringly wrong about the outcome of the election. It was pretty unlikely, true, and required a lot of insane variables to all come together at once... but unlikely things happen every day.  I didn't think Trump would win, and I was wrong.

It's important to remember, though, that this doesn't mean that we can't ever know anything again.  One error doesn't break the world.  Scientia potentia est -- knowledge is power, even in a Trumped-up world.  I still try to find out what is true, predict what will happen, and check to see if my predictions match reality.

Some days, that can be hard... logistically and emotionally.  There's a whole lot of bad news out there, and it will come at you and wash over you like winter waters, until you feel like you're floating away, numb in the cold of all the hatred and wrongness.

But I have to say... knowing all that I do about recent history and current events and the coming tide... I really do think it'll be okay.  Not for everyone, and not right away.  A lot is going to suck and a lot of people are going to get hurt.  We're going to have to fight and shout and struggle and cheer and cry, and we must never forget everything at stake or everything we need to do... But still.  It will all be okay.

I'm going to try to tell you why.

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